Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Chattanooga - museum

Every year in June, Chattanooga holds the Riverbend Festival, nine days of music and family fun in the riverfront district, which I'll post about later. (A reminder, you can click on photo to enlarge for enhanced viewing.)

What you do is find a spot on the grounds, then either sit and people watch while waiting for the main musical event at 9pm, or you can walk around to see other musicians on different stages throughout the evening. Or, as Garrett and I did, walk to the museum, which overlooks the festival area.

This is my husband and daughter. I just wanted to give you a sense of the entry to the festival. At the end of the booths is a mass of people.

The Hunter Museum of American Art is located in an historical mansion and a sleek contemporary building on the bluffs overlooking the Tennessee River. The mansion is a brick neoclassical building. It served as a family home for Ross Faxon initially and then for Walter Henson, Anne Thomas and finally her nephew George Thomas Hunter, for whom the museum is named. The building itself represents three distinct architectural stages: the original 1904 classical revival mansion which has housed the museum since its opening in 1952, a brutalist addition built in 1975, and a 2005 addition designed by Randall Stout which now serves as the entrance to the museum.

This is a wooden sculpter of a horse. There was no info on their website about it. It's cool.

This is a replica of ... something. I should know, but I'm drawing a blank. Something to do with a factory or industry that was once here? See what looks like a chimney on the right rear? Anyway, it's on a little hill, and Garrett climbed up to see it and get his picture taken with it. On the way down, he slid on the gravel. And knocked me over like a bowling pen. Literally. On my ass. A nice young man standing nearby helped me up, helped me gather the batteries that came out of my camera and the contents of my purse. And my elbow was bleeding and hurt like hell, cut and filled with dirt and gravel. "Garrett, good grief! Now do you see? This is why we say things like 'it's not a good idea to climb up there'!" "Mawmaw, it was an accident! I slipped! I'm sorry!", as he helps me clean up my elbow, him near tears and contrite. "Well, I appreciate your apology, and I know it was an accident, but good grief! It was an accident waiting to happen from the get go! What was I thinking, letting you go up there?" (Though this is what it's there for, and many kids climb up it.) (Also, I was thinking 'photo op for my blog!' My bad.)

This is the museum lit up at night. What you can't see, unfortunately, is the river behind it, with lighted boats and lights of the stores on the other side of the river in the Market District. Also, the back is very modern, but I didn't get a photo of it in the daylight.

I'm not exactly sure what this is, and didn't think to take photos of all the info plaques. I think it's something like hugging turtles in bronze. (So, this goes to show you that art is subject to the interpretation of the viewer, as here's what the museum website says: Tom Otterness often uses humor to comment on social issues. Free Money is the centerpiece of his series that explores the problem of poverty and the gap between the "haves" and the "have-nots." In this piece, whimsical figures represent the everyday working person, rather than particular individuals. Here the couple jubilantly dances on a sack full of money, causing us to wonder how they got the money and if they acquired it through legal means.) Good grief, again! Who'd have guessed? I'm laughing my head off as I read what I said I thought it was and what they say it is! What the hell was he thinking?!? Do artists just pull this stuff out of thin air to impress or confuse us?

Don't know what to say about this. A giant oil can with wings? On a pedestal? Hmmm. Note to self ... next time, take a photo of those plaques. Nothing on the website. Maybe something to do with the oil industry? A commentary on ....?

You really need to see this up close and personal to appreciate how cool it is. This is Garrett standing inside, and the next one is what it looks like when looking up. All lit up like Xmas.

It really boggles the mind, at least mine, that not only did someone imagine this, but someone was able to transpose it from an idea to a display! How does one do that? I'm sure it's some kind of scientific thing that I'd never comprehend, but it's awesome to look at.

This is a relatively new addition, a walking bridge over Riverside Dr., connecting to the Walnut Street Bridge that goes over the Tennessee River. To see it at night is awesome. The plexiglass (or whataever it is) on each side is see-thru to the street below and can make you feel a little goofy or discombubalated.

Sorry you weren't here to share this event with us! I'll post photos of the Riverbend Festival itself later ... I have to do a lot of photo shop work and pick and choose a good representation.

Oh, and thanks for coming back ... I haven't posted in a while as I was busy with kids, gardening, and animals. And just wasn't in the mood!


Ginger said...

I really enjoyed that tour. Looks like so much fun, except for your photo op. How's the elbow?

Midlife Jobhunter said...

{I haven't posted in a while as I was busy with kids, gardening, and animals."

Know how that goes. Garrett is a cutey. Looks like a great festival. I liked all the boats on the water. And the spider web? Thanks for reminding me to click on the pictures. Puts us in your place and mind so much better.

Blasé said...


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Funnyrunner said...

what a great trip! Thanks for visiting my blog!

Wendy said...

Interesting stuff. I wonder if I can get one of those oil cans to put on my house. :) I'd be the talk of the town!

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